We don’t care about, and change, what we aren’t connected to.
We’re emotional creatives and sometimes no wealth of statistics and science will sway us. What can quickly engage our values and change our social norms is emotional connection. Think the nurse with mask marks looking exhausted after a 12 hour shift on a COVID ward – it makes us think, value the NHS more, and changes our actions. Hopefully.
19,000 people have died in the Mediterranean Sea in 6 years. They were fleeing wars, conflict that can usually be traced back to our colonial invasions and economic self-interest. Imagine knowing your child is safer on a rubber boat we wouldn’t cross a river in, rather than stay where they are, and now think 100 people on this small boat. How do we make this connection real? How do we make everyone care and value about these 19,000? Art can, like Rosie Giblin’s Calais refugee camp canteen front-piece welcoming refugees to the kitchen, it can make us stop, think, consider these people AS people, and how we can act as activists to change things.
We are disconnected emotionally from nature – this is why a walk in the woods or going up a hill feels so good, it is a rare thing, but connects us back to what we’ve lost. We’ve lost tribe, village, rite of passage, and these are replaced by poor facsimiles such as following a football team, hobbies, workmate groups and holidays with like-minded people. We need to experiment, draw on indigenous wisdom, and see how we can reconnect to ourselves, each other and wider nature.